What do teacher students learn in and from the trainee functions
In the autumn of 2009, a new initiative and way of thinking about teacher education started on a small scale in Denmark. This new Danish initiative consisted of a simultaneous trainee employment at a school, and maintaining the study activities at the teacher education college. This initiative differs from other ways that are well-known in western countries, of organising teacher education as school-based, with a strong workplace focus, as well as from the use of the teacher assistant as support staff in schools, or later in-service teacher education. This paper will discuss key findings and some empirical and theoretical implications from the simultaneous follow-up research, which took place in the autumn of 2009 and concluded in the spring of 2010, and for which I was responsible (Elle, B. and J. Gulløv, 2010). This research analyses the possibilities and dilemmas in the interplay between the teacher training college, the trainee jobs and the learning processes of the students. The results of the study are important for rethinking teacher education, but also for future discussions on the possible directions for the renewal of university colleges. It contributes to an understanding of how this and similar ways of doing teacher training simultaneously contribute simultaneously to new competencies and engagement among the participants (trainees, teacher teams, schools, local authorities and, to some extent, also the university colleges) and to new forms of self-regulation processes, which become visible as the study relates to some of actual economic, cultural, and politically powerful discourses in Denmark. Thematization and de-naturalization of established cultural, economical, and politically powerful discourses and connections are important, as part of a teacher education.